Tanika & Brian’s NYC Newlywed Nest

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Tanika and Brian Hochhauser (plus George the turtle and Tansy the dog)
Location: Long Island City, New York, New York
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 6 months

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You might recognize Tanika and Brian from the Love Videos, where they shared the charming story of how they met (and of their spur-of-the-moment wedding). The home they share is just as charming as they are, a beautiful Long Island City aerie with breathtaking views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the East River.

The overall palette of black and white, with neutral accents, is soothing and sophisticated, and doesn’t compete with the apartment’s incredible views. (On the day of the photo shoot Tanika and Brian even dressed to match their apartment, something they swear was a happy accident.) Sharing their home with them are Tansy, their new puppy, and George, Tanika’s 10-year-old turtle, whose aquatic environment has an East River view that any human would envy.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)
(Image credit: Tanika)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern luxe.

Inspiration: The Fifth Ave. Club Monaco flagship store in NYC! They have a modern, classic vibe that’s extremely luxe yet inviting.

Favorite Element: Our living room feature wall painted black with a stainless steel fireplace and Juju African headdress hovering above it. I love the mix of industrial elements with the softness of the feathers. It ties in with the overall feel of our space — we’ve mixed in various African decor elements along with our sleek furnishings, which I think is a bit unexpected yet blends well.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to edit and pare down what we need, as opposed to just adding in everything we like. My mom always says there is a difference between need and want. I’m currently studying interior design and want everything! Also, we have a ton of windows with stunning views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and we didn’t want our decor to compete with the view, which is art within itself. Though I do love a good layered look, by keeping our decor clean and minimal we can allow the outside view to shine.

What Friends Say: Our friends are always so impressed with our design choices. We’ve had a couple of parties since we’ve moved here and our place has held up well even with children and pets involved.

Biggest Embarrassment: Since we’ve gotten a puppy, it’s funny to have a well designed space with wee wee pads sitting on the kitchen floor, but hey, that’s real life.

Proudest DIY: I designed the wall hanging above our bed. I couldn’t find what I wanted online or in a store so I created it myself. It’s just some fringe tassels hanging from a copper plant hanger at various levels, but it makes a big impact. We have some gorgeous paintings from a friend of ours out of Dallas which hang in our kitchen. We have a beautiful black and white beaded Kenyan pillow from a friend who has a globally responsible line. We also had my brother-in-law make a beautiful puppy cave for Tansy which she absolutely loves. So we’ve accumulated tons of lovely handmade finds from friends and family which make our home feel special.

Biggest Indulgence: Would have to be our bed. Though we didn’t splurge on any one item in particular, all together we put the most into it from the headboard to the mattress, and our beautiful lumbar pillow by The Citizenry. It honestly feels like a hotel bed. Though our collection of AVO pillows flanking our living room bench with black sheep fur comes in a close second.

Best Advice: Don’t get locked into one type of style. It’s not about a particular look as much as it’s about how it makes you feel. Decor should evoke feeling, and your home should make you feel good.

Dream Sources: I love going to the Architectural Design Show or hanging out at the New York Design Center or ABC Carpet & Home and being immersed in design inspiration.


(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Valspar: Wooly Lamb
• Valspar: Tomcat

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Vintage African Mask : Housing Works
• Dubois Square mirrors : Crate and Barrel
• Mounted Sawfish Rostrum : Zara Home
• Black console/ dinning table flanked with personal art : Crate and Barrel
• White Wardrobe : IKEA
• Expandable dining table : Crate & Barrel

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Sofa, Grey canvas art, White dresser with turtle tank : West Elm
• Pillows on Sofa : Muji
• Camel color throw : H&M
• Bench, Round metal & wood bookcase, Bar stools, TV Stand : Move Loot
• Black mounted wall shelving, Fireplace : Amazon
• Surya Duxbury Floor lamp : MYHABIT
• Vintage Moroccan rug : Housing Works
• Glass coffee table : Urban Outfitters
• Leather fringe stools : Angle Vintage Shop
• Mercury Mirrored Vase : Housing Works
• Handmade Puppy cubby by Edward Hochhauser
• Dried flowers are from the wedding and created by Flowers by Yasmine, whose shop is located at Brookfield Place downtown.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

• Wall Art : Alfredo Pina
• Glass planter : West Elm
• Grey stone Tea Set : Bed, Bath and Beyond
• Wood tray : Muji
• African wrapped wine bottles : Pholencia flea at Graham & Co.
• Green Stools : Canvas Home
• Acrylic paintings by Alfredo Pina

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Headboard : West Elm
• DHP Maven Platform bed
• White duvet cover : Crate & Barrel
• Lumbar Pillow : The Citizenry
• Helix Acacia desk : CB2
• Large Moon Print : TRNK
• Small moon print : Artifacts Uprising
• Brass tray and gold painted antlers : LIC Flea
• Round mirror : Anthropologie
• Starman Vase : Beam Brooklyn
• AVO pillows on bench
• Needle + Thread black and white triangle pillow

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Thanks, Tanika & Brian!